The Copse – Oil Painting

The Copse

The Copse

I intended to use Alkyd only colour, plus traditional Titanium White and Ivory Black oils. As it turned out I under painted in Alkyd, Yellow Ochre, Burnt Sienna, Raw Umber and Prussian Blue, then finished in standard Cadmium Yellow, Viridian Green and Cobalt Blue.

So here are my initial observations. Everything happens fast. Thin washes, with solvent only, are sufficiently ‘set’ after evaporation, not to mix with subsequent layers of paint. This is similar to how traditional oils behave after 24 hours. Thicker layers stay workable for at least a few hours. This is good for my method as I very often paint an under layer, sometimes to mix with later layers and other times I’d prefer if they didn’t mix. This is controllable by the addition of solvent or the thickness of the under layer applied.

As an under paint, Alkyds are good. Strong transparent rich colour, drying fast to an inflexible layer allowing later additions of traditional oils. However, in this first encounter with Alkyd paint, I could not get the paint to produce an intense final layer. I rescued the painting with standard oil colour. The Alkyd paints I used, Yellow Ochre, Burnt Sienna, Raw Umber and Prussian Blue would have been capable of producing a final layer in standard oils, but not so here.

I think if I were to use Alkyd only I would have to increase the number of tube colours on the palette to compensate for this. I will post the video of the painting process in a few days.


Winter Stubble – Oil Painting

Winter Stubble

Winter Stubble

There are two contrasting parts to this painting, the sky and the ground. The approaches in painting each are very different. In the final painting the only thing that bothers me is the lack of consistency of texture between these two parts. This is something I worry about in an abstract way, in reality it doesn’t bother me. The solid gritty landscape with a soft misty sky seems, to me at least, a most pleasing arrangement. A more important issue is the colours used. By using the same colours in the sky as I intend to use on the ground, stitches the two extremely different areas together. The proportions of the colours used in each part are different of course.

The sky was produced by blending the colours using larger brushes, but not to the extent that the strokes of the brush are lost. I use ‘filbert’ shaped brushes here. They are flat with a ‘domed’ shape. The same ones as I used to produce the shapes of the trees later on in the painting. There is a texture created by the wider brushes, but no lines as would be produced by narrower brushes. This texture plus the texture of the canvas increases the surface area of the paint and seems to intensify the colour which is a good thing.

Its the narrower round brushes which are used to draw the multitude is lines representing the details in the stubble field. There is no blending or softening of these lines. I said representing the details and this is the case with these details. On close inspection the brush strokes are very much lines of paint but when viewed as part of the overall become the details of the field. The framework of perspective was initially sketched in as thin washes with solvent. The obvious ‘mechanical’ lines were almost completely covered by later brush strokes. The missed bits added to the overall suggestion of details. These bits were pure transparent crimson and blue – the colours which are the obvious shades found in the colours of the sky.

The colours used were: Alizarin Crimson, Yellow Ochre, Cobalt Blue plus Raw Umber. Ivory Black and Titanium White were also used. Generally there was no medium used except for a little Liquin in the final stages to help in placing wet lines of paint on a wet under layer.

I will post the video of the process in a few days. See you then.